HPV (Genital Warts) Diagnosis and Treatment Methods
What is HPV (genital warts)?
Some sexually transmitted types of HPV may cause genital warts. This “high-risk” HPV infection may turn into precancerous lesions and invasive cancer.
Genital warts can be small, large, single, or group. They are often the same color as the skin around them, but sometimes they are seen in different colors such as pink to red, brown, gray, or white. They are often in groups of five to fifteen, each one to five millimeters in size. Their appearance is like a cauliflower and they mostly occur in moist areas around the genital area and anus, as well as inside the vagina or cervix. Some other types of genital warts are similar to common warts (a bump with thick skin) and develop on dry skin. Sometimes genital warts are soft and flat, and some of them are even hard to see.
Also, HPV infection in Iran is the cause of almost all cases of cervical cancer.
Symptoms of genital warts in men and women are as follows
• The presence of prominent, firm, and fleshy appendages around the genital area and anus in the form of scattered and small single warts or larger projections in the form of clusters and concentrated.
• The color of genital warts is often the same as the skin color, but in some cases, it may be darker or lighter than the person’s skin color.
• In people who have had oral sex, these appendages may have been created around the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat.
• Sensation of itching and burning in the place of warts
• Presence of moisture and discharge in the place of genital warts
• If the appendages are placed in the urinary tract, they can cause bleeding, pain, and blockage of the urinary tract.
Laboratory methods of HPV virus detection in Iran
Traditional viral detection methods such as electron microscopy, cell culture, and some immunological methods are unsuitable for detecting the HPV virus. HPV virus cannot be cultured in cells.
Important and modern methods for detecting the HPV virus and its resulting infection are:
1. Colposcopy test and acetic acid
3. DNA testing
4. Sampling of cervical cells
HPV sampling areas in men:
1- The surface of the penis
2- Glandular cavity or skin cavity near the head of the penis
3- Glans or foreskin
5- Duct secretions
6- Seminal fluid
8- Skin around the anus
9- Anal canal (1 and 7).
How to diagnose genital warts in women in Iran
To diagnose the disease, the doctor first performs a routine and simple examination and examines these appendages by examining the person’s appearance. Genital warts have specific appearances and symptoms and are easily recognizable.
If there are no signs of genital warts in the person’s body, depending on the case, the doctor examines the hidden and internal parts of the genital and anus using the device. Because warts sometimes grow in internal areas such as the cervix and inside the vagina, so they are not easily visible.
Suppose there is a possibility of a person contracting the HPV virus or other infections caused by it. In that case, the doctor uses other methods to detect the virus in the person’s body.
These methods include the following two methods:
- Pap smear test
- blood test
Pap smear test in Shiraz
To detect the virus that causes genital warts and check its possible risks, women over 35 years of age are recommended to do a pap smear test at least once a year. It is possible to make a detailed investigation of this disease and its consequences. Also, the Pap smear test shows many infections and cancers that affect the female reproductive system.
In this method, the cervix is opened slowly with a device called a speculum, and then with a sterile brush, the necessary samples are taken from the cells of the uterine wall and vagina.
Genital wart blood test in Iran
To detect the type of genital warts and the presence of the HPV virus in body, in addition to performing a Pap smear test, which is a method for women, there is a method called the molecular method, which can be used for both women and men. The sensitivity and accuracy of this method is very high and it can accurately determine whether a person is infected with the HPV virus or not.
One of the ways to perform the molecular method is to perform the genotyping method, which sequences the HPV gene and find out whether the person is infected with the virus or not.
There is also another method for detecting HPV called REAL TIME PCR, in which the desired gene is amplified more than thousands of times and then the results are analyzed on the device.
Probability of getting genital warts without sexual relationship
Of course, sometimes the immune system of a person’s body is so weak that a person can get infected with this virus even without having sex, and this probability is very high in the following cases:
- AIDS patients
- People suffering from various cancers and infections
- People who have had transplant operations and received a new organ
- Excessive use of birth control pills
- People who are sexually active at a young age
Genital wart treatment methods for men and women are not much different from each other, and both should choose one cryotherapy or laser treatment according to the size and exact location of the warts.
Since some types of this virus can cause various types of cancer, quick and early treatment of genital warts is of great importance. On the other hand, as long as you have genital warts, you cannot have sex with your partner because there is a possibility of the warts spreading.
In general, the following treatments are considered for all types of genital warts:
- laser therapy
- Burning with electrocautery
- Drug therapy
Visit a dermatologist
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